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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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All Things, Small and Great

November 8, 2018 5 Comments
All Things, Small and Great

There is a notion that ushering in reform or change requires large numbers, majority percentages, and the like, but a passage from the First Book of Maccabees reminds us that Heaven’s math is not always ours: But Judas said: “It is easy for many to be overcome by a few; in the sight of Heaven […]

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Sober but Serene Themes of Judgment in the Spirituals

November 7, 2018 1 Comment
Sober but Serene Themes of Judgment in the Spirituals

I’ve often been impressed by the ability of old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of weighty matters like sin and judgment. During early November we are focused on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and hell) and November is also Black […]

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A Valuable New Book Sets Forth the Gift of the Priestly Blessing

November 6, 2018 1 Comment
A Valuable New Book Sets Forth the Gift of the Priestly Blessing

For priests, there is probably no request more common than this one: “Father, will you bless this?” Dozens of times per week we’re requested to bless a new rosary, statue or other religious article, or even a new car or home. We also get more personal requests: “Father, may I have your blessing?” Even in […]

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The Road to Hell Is Paved with Indifference

November 5, 2018 9 Comments
The Road to Hell Is Paved with Indifference

The Gospel for Tuesday of the 31st Week features the Lucan version of the parable about a man who gave a banquet. (In the Matthew version, Jesus refers to him as a king and I will refer to him that way in this post.) When all was ready, the servants were sent out to fetch […]

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St Charles Borromeo – A Model for Clergy in Troubled Times

November 4, 2018 3 Comments
St Charles Borromeo – A Model for Clergy in Troubled Times

Sunday was the feast day of my patron saint, Charles Borromeo. The times in which he lived were not so different from the current ones, and leadership like his is sorely needed today. Although I am not a bishop as he was, I am a pastor. I pray that in some small way I may […]

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The Whole Law, Standing on One Foot – A Homily for the 31st Sunday of the Year

November 3, 2018 1 Comment
The Whole Law, Standing on One Foot – A Homily for the 31st Sunday of the Year

Hillel the Elder, sometimes referred to as Rabbi Hillel, was a Jewish religious leader who lived shortly before Jesus’ time. There is a famous story told of him in which he was challenged by a potential convert to teach him the entire Torah while “standing on one foot.” In other words, can you distill the […]

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A Picture of Brotherly Love in a Commercial

November 2, 2018 0 Comments
A Picture of Brotherly Love in a Commercial

There’s something interesting about the love between brothers and the way in which they show it. There’s a combination of competitiveness and deep love: “I get to hassle you, but no one else had better do that!” In the video below, although the older boy continually reminds his younger brother who’s in charge, there’s actually […]

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Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

November 1, 2018 4 Comments
Praying for Those Who Have Died Is a Work of Mercy

What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, but more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to […]

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